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Starring James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas
Based on the book by JC Ballard
Written and Directed by David Cronenberg

IN SHORT: ... rhymes with Trash.

As always, Cranky makes no comparison to Source Material, nor am I going to make allusions to previous movies by David Cronenberg, who always likes to push and shock a paying audience. I'd only give him the pleasure of the compliment of "out-Cronenberg-ing himself" if there was any redeeming value to Crash. But there isn't, so I won't.

Crash is a perverse and vile film; one that only those with the mindset of male, 20 year old film students could like. Somewhere out there is a film student who will see Crash and wonder how he could do "better." Cranky hopes he is long dead and rotting in the grave when that day comes.

We begin with an adulterous couple who live up in Ottawa, Canada where, apparently, possession of a new car airbag is an illegal act. James Ballard (James Spader) is, appropriately enough, a film producer. His wife Catherine (Deborah Kara Unger) is a blonde who gets her thrills from describing, and having described, the intimacies of their affairs. Add rhyme and rhythm and you could probably sell it as a rap song.

One night, James' car goes head to head with another vehicle (which actually looks kind of cool, what with a body crashing through two windshields and all) and wakes up in hospital, with metal rods screwed into, and holding his leg together. Also in hospital is Dr. H. Remington (Holly Hunter), the seat belt wearing passenger from the other car, and a guy in a white coat named Vaughan (Elias Koteas).

Vaughan is not a doctor. He's just your average, accident obsessed guy, who re-stages the most famous crashes, for fun. You'll see James Dean's September 1955 neck snapper which "made him immortal." You'll see him plan out the Jayne Mansfield decapitation, right down to the dead dog. You'll see the dead dog, too, and it gets even worse. For around Vaughan is a coterie of other accident victims who get high and watch video of accidents -- Vince has three police scanners in his car, and tracks the suckers -- and then engage in sex acts. Solo, group, homosexual, lesbian, you name it. If they can do it in a car, better. If they can do it in a car having an accident ... well, that'd be perfection.

Damn it, I'm making this thing sound interesting. It isn't. Doesn't come close. You'll figure out the logical ending with at least an hour to go and by then only morbid curiosity will keep your jaw from closing. You'll think the perversions and out and out emotional and mental sickness you see on the screen can't get any worse --- but they can, and they do.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Crash, he would have paid...


The judges at last years Cannes film festival created a special award, for "audacity," for David Cronenberg's Crash, proving once again that the French like crap.

Click to buy films by David Cronenberg
Click to buy films starring James Spader
Click to buy films starring Holly Hunter

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.